Best Apple AirPods Pro alternatives 2023

by Alex Chang

As a technology enthusiast and audiophile, I’m always on the lookout for the best audio experiences, and 2023 has brought some exciting alternatives to the Apple AirPods Pro. Here’s a detailed dive into the top contenders.

Marshall Minor III: The Style Icon

Marshall Minor III stands out as the best overall alternative. Known for its bold style and excellent audio quality, these earbuds bring a semi-open design akin to the AirPods. The IPX5 water resistance makes them perfect for outdoor activities. They offer 5 hours of battery life per charge and 25 hours with the case, which also supports wireless charging. One notable absence is the lack of voice assistant support, a minor trade-off for such stylish and high-quality earbuds.

Oddict Twig: Smart and Stylish

For those seeking Siri integration without compromising on style, the Oddict Twig earbuds are a prime choice. They boast a unique aluminum design, 12mm carbon drivers for superior sound, and IPX4 weatherproofing. The touch controls support both Siri and Google Assistant, but the battery life is a bit underwhelming at just three hours.

JBL Tune 225TWS: Bass Lovers’ Delight

If bass is your beat, JBL Tune 225TWS will not disappoint. They offer a snug fit and excellent Pure Bass Sound. The Google Fast Pair feature is a nice touch for Android users, but iOS users might feel left out. These earbuds lack ANC and have a battery life comparable to the 2nd generation AirPods.

Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS: Hi-Res Audio Heaven

For high-resolution audio fans, Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS is a standout with its LDAC hi-res audio codec support. The semi-open design delivers a spacious sound experience. However, its glossy case is prone to fingerprints, and battery life could be better.

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Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II: The ANC Champion

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are the top pick for active noise cancellation. They offer a comfortable fit, outstanding noise cancellation, and excellent sound quality. Their CustomTune system optimizes sound and ANC based on ear shape. They lack wireless charging and Bluetooth multipoint, but their six-hour battery life is respectable.

Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9: Hi-Fi Sound Expert

Audio-Technica’s ATH-TWX9 is for those prioritizing sound quality. They support up to 24-bit/96kHz hi-res audio with aptX Adaptive content and have an excellent soundstage. Their active noise cancellation is top-notch, but the battery life is on the lower end, and they come at a premium price.

Sony WF-1000XM4: Unparalleled Sound Quality

The Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds are known for their best-in-class sound quality. They also offer effective noise cancellation and a comfortable fit, making them a top choice for audiophiles.

Jabra Elite 7 Pro: The Customization King

Jabra Elite 7 Pro offers immense customization options, making it a highly adaptable alternative to the AirPods Pro. From sound settings to noise cancellation, these earbuds cater to a wide range of preferences.

1More Aero: Spatial Audio Specialists

1More Aero earbuds stand out for their spatial audio capabilities, providing an immersive sound experience.

BrandModelKey FeaturesBattery LifeSpecial Mention
MarshallMinor IIIStylish, Excellent Sound, IPX5, Wireless Charging5 hours + 25 hours (case)No Siri/voice assistant support
OddictTwigSiri Support, Aluminum Design, IPX4, Wireless Charging3 hoursUnique design, supports Google Assistant
JBLTune 225TWSPure Bass Sound, Snug Fitting, Google Fast Pair5 hours + 20 hours (case)No ANC or transparency mode
SoundpeatsAir3 Deluxe HSLDAC Hi-Res Audio Codec, EQ features5 hours (reduced with LDAC on)Excellent value for price
BoseQuietComfort Earbuds IIComfortable, Superior ANC, Good Sound Quality6 hours + 24 hours (case)CustomTune system for optimized sound
Audio-TechnicaATH-TWX9Hi-Fi Sound, Effective ANC, UV Light6 hours + 18 hours (case)Premium pricing
SonyWF-1000XM4Best Sound Quality, Effective ANCNot specifiedHighly acclaimed sound quality
JabraElite 7 ProCustomizable, Secure FitNot specifiedTailored listening experience
1MoreAeroSpatial AudioNot specifiedEnhanced immersive sound experience

In conclusion, each of these alternatives brings something unique to the table. Whether you prioritize style, sound quality, or specific features like noise cancellation or voice assistant support, there’s an option that fits your needs. 2023 is indeed a great year for audiophiles looking beyond Apple’s offerings.

1 comment

Zack Jestis December 1, 2023 - 4:34 am

Full disclosure I own the flex and have a friend with the JBL (Flip 6 and charge 5). Undoubtedly the JBLs can get louder and thump more but that’s not necessarily a good thing if it comes through muddy and not balanced. Also, knocks it gets on paper about the Bluetooth, lack of tweeter, no AUX, and no EQ adjustments don’t hold in real world settings. I’ve seen a review showing the Bose outperforming the JBL’s Bluetooth connectivity for example. The balance, clarity and warm feel of the base is memorable and different than anything I’ve heard in a speaker of this size. You really need to spend some time listening to both.


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